The sign above the gate reads "Erligou", which is situated in Beijing. The bactrian camel was the beast of burden which was used by traders to ply the Silk Route. In the Tang dynasty camels were used to transport Chinese goods, including silk, across the difficult terrain of the Silk Route to the eager markets of Central Asia, Samarkand, Persia and Syria.
The two-humped Bactrian camel was known in China as early as the Han dynasty, having been brought from Central Asia and Eastern Turkestan as tribute. Its amazing ability to survive the hardships of travel across the Asian deserts was soon recognized and Imperial camel herds were established under the administration of a special bureau. These Imperial camel herds, numbering several thousand, were used for a range of state duties, including the provision of a military courier service for the Northern Frontier. Camels were not only prized as resilient beasts of burden; their hair was also used to produce a cloth, which, then as now, was admired for its lightness and warmth.